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A monk seal swimming over a coral reef bottom. NOAA Photo Library

The world's oceans are vast and boundless, and its spectacular and innumerable diversity of sea creatures and plants may seem immune from human harm. But as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the United Nations conference on oceans last year, our seas and its inhabitants are "now under threat as never before."

The human footprint has pushed marine species numbers to the "brink of collapse." The constant consumption of plastics has turned our oceans into a dumping ground. And the burning of fossil fuels has fueled ocean heating, leading to dire consequences such as declining oxygen levels in the oceans, coral bleaching and sea level rise.

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In a historic move, more than 40 UK companies have signed up to fight plastic pollution as part of the UK Plastics Pact, The Independent reported Wednesday.

The pact, which officially launches today, is a groundbreaking alliance of companies, non-governmental organizations and governments working to transform packaging in the UK by 2025.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Straws suck—literally and figuratively. Americans throw away 500 million of these single-use plastics everyday day, clogging landfills, polluting oceans and causing harm to aquatic creatures.

And while reusable straws made of bamboo or metal already exist on the market, the Santa Fe-based team at FinalStraw have invented the world's first collapsible, reusable straw you can conveniently attach to your keychain so you won't forget to bring your own when you're on the go.

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By Bibi Farber

We have a whole world of plastic that needs to be replaced with other biodegradable materials. We have come to rely on this indestructible modern material for every single facet of daily life.

The food you ate today was probably sold in plastic packaging, the vehicle you transport yourself in has plastic components, be that a car, bus, bike, train, plane, boat, kayak ... the computer you are reading this article on, even the charger and the wall socket protector … just look around.

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Cafeteria Culture

Carrots in a Ziploc
Grapes in a bag
Sandwich in saran wrap, with a "fresh daily" tag
Water bottle snuggled by an extra pair of socks
Plastic straw
Chips to gnaw
Juice in a box

That's an average American kids lunch stuffed in a school bag, with enough plastic packaging to wallpaper the classroom. Once it comes to school lunch, we don't practice what we preach, so let's unpackage what we teach.

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Heal the Bay's very own James Alamillo wearing a "bag monster" costume featuring 500 plastic bags—the number of bags thrown away by each Californian, each year, before efforts to ban plastic bags began.

By Matt Davis

California's environmental protections are not for sale. That's the message California voters sent to out-of-state plastic bag manufacturers when they upheld Proposition 67 by 53 to 47 percent in November. But how did the Golden State manage to win a state-wide bag ban against a national political backdrop that went the other way?

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